FAYETTE COUNTY, Iowa — Officials say that two white deer were spotted in Iowa on Thursday morning.
The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook that one of their deputies saw two albino deer walking around outside near the city of West Union.
“Just a reminder that they are a protected species and can not be hunted,” the sheriff’s office said. “Enjoy the beauty of nature!”
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said that whitetailed deer are common in Iowa but they are a protected species, according to the Des Moines Register.
The newspaper reported that any deer with over 50% white color cannot be hunted legally during Iowa’s deer hunting season. That season begins in the fall and extends through the early winter.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said that white deer have become a protected species after legislation was created in 1987 following “an uproar when a white deer was killed” in Iowa, according to the Register.
“Removing these deer (white deer) from the gene pool with hunting would not be a benefit, just the same as protecting them is not a benefit. Any changes to this law would require the action of the state legislature,” the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said on its website.